Monday, March 19, 2012

True Surrender

What does it mean to truly surrender yourself to someone, something?  I believe I am being taught the full meaning of the word surrender through this life experience called "cancer".  I have had a pretty bad day today.  It's about to get graphic so watch out...  My anal fissures did not fully heal from the last round of chemo.  Constipation is part and parcel with the chemo drugs and the anti-nauseants that ease the chemo symptoms.  I thank God for the anit-nauseants, but my bottom doesn't always concur since it is the thing that is being painfully ripped open every 2 weeks.  It doesn't help that another one of the side effects of chemo is the disintegration (for lack of better words) of all the soft tissue in the body, including nose, mouth, digestive tract, and other unmentionable lady bits.  If I didn't already know how painful and uncomfortable it is not to have a bowel movement, then I would be praying for them to stop.  I come to look forward to the part of the process where I get diarrhea so that the fissures have at least a fighting chance to heal.  I'm so thankful that I have an extra 3 days of healing this round as well because I will be heading down to L.A. to the film festival where our film on human trafficking, "Coerced", will be playing. (We got 3 nominations this year! So excited!).  I'm also very much looking forward to "The Hunger Games" which opens this Friday.  I read the books last month in about a 5 day period.  Couldn't put them down.  I find I really need to have something to look forward to each round to help get me through.  Last time was a limo ride downtown to see a Canucks game with some of my bestest friends.  It's those moments that keep this journey light and joyful.

And then there are days like today.  I woke up.  Sort of.  I don't think my body and brain woke up together.  Mike had an early morning appointment in Abbotsford, so I was home with Gwen.  I should have called someone for help the moment I woke up.  I figured that Mike would be home within 3 hours, so I'd tough it out.  5 hours later, and much mommy guilt for not being able to really move off the couch (at least I got Gwen fed and changed!), I was finally able to return to bed.  We all had a nap and then we went and did some desperately needed grocery shopping.  I couldn't fathom eating anything tonight other than pot stickers, which the stupid store that we went to didn't carry.  BAH!  It's rare that I crave anything right after my chemo, so I really wanted to eat while I was craving something.  Usually all I can taste is a metallic taste in the back of my mouth and I seem to constantly have the smell of chemicals in my nose, so food in general isn't that appealing.  Holding back the nausea, I managed to make it to a different store and got what I wanted.  They definitely hit the spot.

I got another surprise this evening.  My wonderful monthly friend decided to join me.  Better late than never!  Maybe I won't end up infertile after all!  That is, in fact, good news.  Despite how crappy it makes me feel on the cramping side of things...  Let's just add one more symptom to my list!  The end of the night brought me to a hot bath with epsom salts to ease all my aches and to cleanse all the soft tissue damage that has occurred.  It really was great.  I was able to have a really good conversation with God.  I opened myself to him and I sobbed and cried and sobbed and cried.  It was bad enough that Mike had to come check on me.  I always know I've had a good cry if Mike actually can hear me :)

It felt so good to connect to everything.  I have been having thoughts that I just can't do this anymore.  I am only a third of the way through my treatments.  I seem to be focusing on how much I have left instead of celebrating how much I've already done.  I know I'm focusing on the wrong thing.  I don't have the mind set going into each round that "I can beat this" and it's "one more down".  Instead, I've been walking into this with a sense of dread.  I want that to stop.  I want it gone.  I want it all gone.  The verse that keeps coming to mind for me this treatment is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13.  I have also been clinging to Psalm 73:26, which is probably my favourite verse in the Bible (and I like the New Living Translation for today's purposes): "My health my fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever."

What I love about that is that God IS mine forever; and I am His.  I can give him everything.  I can give him all this pain, hurt, sorrow and HE is big enough to carry it for me.  It is so freeing!  He graciously takes all our bad, all our good, all our in between and will carry it for us.  This is why he sent his son.  To take all this from us so that we can be clean, so that we can be cleansed enough to stand, or kneel or lay face down, in HIS presence.  He does this so selflessly and all He asks in return, as our guest Pastor said on Sunday, is all of ourselves.  Wow.  That's actually pretty huge.  This is where I begin to learn a thing or two about surrender.  I cannot think of a time in my life where I have wanted to be rid of something so badly.  I can't think of anything else that I have ever wanted God to take from me as much as all this chemo "stuff".  I cried out for God to take this.  To heal me fully, to mend my soft tissue and to give me the strength to get through these treatments so that I can go on to do His great work.  Then it hit me.  I have to commit to surrender ALL OF ME.  Every last bit.  Then I realized, I don't know how to do that.  I have always kept a portion of myself off limits, even to God.  I don't do it intentionally, but I sensed it in this intimate moment of prayer.  I had been holding back.  I haven't given my all.  If I am being moulded and shaped right now for His purpose, then I sure as sugar better get this right.  I'm sure that now this door is open, that I have this new honesty with my Saviour, that He will begin to reveal to me in what ways I can become more faithful.  I look forward to this because I know that He has been faithful to me through this whole journey.  I have known every step of the way that He has been walking with me, carrying me.  He will not forsake me.  He is forever faithful.  I can only hope to be the same.

1 comment:

  1. He says welcome Heart of David! He totally surrendered everything every day! WTG girl! Keep it up surrendering to him, is when his strength takes over!!!